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8 days ago
By motogp.com

Herve Poncharal in focus

A look at one of the stalwarts of the MotoGP™ paddock – Tech 3's Herve Poncharal

A day in the life of… Herve Poncharal

Herve Poncharal is a well-known face and name to most in- and outside the MotoGP™ paddock; a respected figure who runs not only Tech 3, but also acts as the President of the International Road-Racing Teams Association (IRTA).

Poncharal was a professional rider himself in his early years, and got his Grand Prix schooling in team management with Honda France in the 1980s before taking an adventurous decision to form his own team – Tech 3 – in 1989.

Early highlights in the team’s history include American rider John Kocinski’s 1993 podiums on Suzuki machinery in the 250cc class, the move onto Yamaha bikes and the emergence of team-mates Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano as race winners in 1999, followed by Jacque’s dramatic 2000 250cc World Championship win for the team as he beat Nakano in Australia.

Tech 3 moved into the premier class in 2001 and were on the podium in their very first 500cc season at the Sachsenring, courtesy of Nakano, whilst Brazilian rider Alex Barros put them back on the rostrum in third place at Le Mans in 2003.

Since then the team have provided rides for the likes of the late Norick Abe, Marco Melandri, Toni Elías, Carlos Checa, James Ellison, Makoto Tamada, Sylvain Guintoli, Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso and current line-up Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith.

In 2008, the team took a step forward with the acquisition of Colin Edwards and James Toseland, also securing competitive packages from Yamaha and enjoying additional podiums courtesy of Edwards at Le Mans and Assen, with the American continuing alongside the Englishman in 2008.

Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso were another formidable pairing in the team, taking more podium finishes, before Bradley Smith stepped up into the premier class to give the French outfit an all-British lineup. Crutchlow’s departure to Ducati, again to partner Dovizioso, then saw reigning Moto2™ World Champion Pol Espargaro move up in 2014 to partner Smith. Smith has since taken two podium finishes, with Espargaro also a regular top five finisher and points scorer.

Next season will see a Frenchman return to the squad as 2015 Moto2™ World Champion Johann Zarco moves up to MotoGP™, to be partnered by GP winner Jonas Folger in a fresh line-up of Moto2™ success stories ready to take on the premier class onboard their Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machinery.